Monday, February 21, 2011

February 14, 2011: The Napier Hotel

Our Monday pub-club continues to try to find new veg-friendly pubs to sample. This week it was The Napier in the back-streets of Fitzroy, most famous for its ridiculously artery-curdling meat attack, the bogan burger. Thankfully the menu is wide-ranging, providing many dishes with fewer than three types of meat.

The pub itself is something of a TARDIS, with 3 or 4 biggish rooms, a nice little courtyard and a handful of tables out on Napier St - we had to do periodic sweeps of the pub to make sure people knew where we were hiding. The menu provides plenty of veg options - a burger and two mains out of about ten meals in total.

Cindy and I both had our eyes on the vegie burger, a couscous and cannellini bean patty, with salad, eggplant relish, aoli, crinkle cut chips and coleslaw ($16).

From where I was sitting (which was too far away to steal a bit), this looked great - chunky beans were visible throughout the patty, which had a nice crispy outer layer. Cindy concurred that the patty was one of the better vegie burger patties she's had, but with the big bun-roll and generous pile of chips, the whole thing was just too massive for her - I'm sure I could have given it a good home.

Instead, I worked my way through a whole red capsicum stuffed with couscous, mushrooms and haloumi, served with a warm salad of green bean and artichoke with shallot and sherry vinaigrette ($17).

This seemed a meal much too classy for a pub offering up a bogan burger - the bean and artichoke salad was just the right mix of crunchy and tender, while the lightly roasted capsicum was stuffed full of glorious couscous-based tastiness. The only downside was the lack of substantial haloumi pieces in the filling - it seemed to have been melted through, a fact I only realised after spending half the meal digging around for a delicious cheesy chunk or two.

The Napier ended up providing an early pub-club highlight for 2011, with the rest of our gang very positive about their meatier choices. It's hard to imagine a better place to be on a sunny summer afternoon than a shady table in the beer garden at the Napier.

The Napier has been pretty well reviewed (largely thanks to its bogan burger notoriety). See: My Aching Head, G'day G'day, Strange and Cold, Mel: Hot or Not, Totally Addicted to Taste, Melbourne Gastronome, Eat and Be Merry, NavMan, Fitzroyalty and I Just Ate It.

The Napier Hotel
210 Napier St, Fitzroy
9419 4240
veg mains $16-$17

Accessibility: The Napier's rooms are crowded with furniture and people, and are often separated by steps.  Food and drink orders need to be placed at the bar.


  1. Oh, the Napier... Their old tofu burger (circa 2006) was the greatest thing known to mankind. I still have dreams about it. There was not only deliciously marinated tofu involved, but also corn chips and guacamole! Heaven. The new veg burger is good but nothing compared to the one of yore. And they used to have the chunkiest chunky chips you have ever laid eyes on. Myumyumyum.

  2. Mmmm yes please! That stuffed red capsicum sounds like my kinda food- especially if there's salty cheese hiding in the midst!

  3. Hannah Mae - I'm sorry to have missed the previous version! It sounds fab.

    If only the salty cheese hadn't hidden quite so well, M?. :-)